Friday, June 27, 2008

On pretending...

I've never been a vain person.

I'm overweight and have been most of my adult life -- so I'm used to people giving me funny looks.

The kind of chemo I'm getting almost always causes people to lose their hair -- all of it. So, while my legs will be nice and smooth, so will my eyebrows and head.

Also, because of the kind of chemo I'm getting, I'll need a port... which is pretty much a permanently installed valve for them to pump chemo into me. It will be up by my collar bone -- not easy to hide with most of my clothes. I'll have it at least until December, maybe longer.

Right now I have one boob and two drainage bulbs under my clothes... so I'm both lop-sided and lumpy. It has taught me a lot -- namely that, while people may look at you funny for a second, if you are ok with it, they will be too. It is clear that there is something wrong with me, but once I smile and act as if nothing is wrong, I don't even get the funny look...

So -- I'm going to be up-front about it. I'm going to tell my students and anybody else who asks that I have breast cancer. After I have my prosthesis, I may ask them to figure out (without touching) which one is real...

The thing is, I didn't do anything to cause myself to get this disease and there is no shame in having it. I have good insurance and people who love and support me. There is no reason to feel sorry for me. Sure, this sucks -- and it isn't as if I wanted to have cancer this summer -- but, the rest of me still works and I'm dealing with it.

4 comments:

Psych Post Doc said...

Good for you.

I think if you're comfortable sharing than you should certainly do so. It will stop the whispering (real or imagined)that you would have experienced once you start to lose your hair.

Oh, and yay for not having to shave. ;)

I wish you all the best PF.

Anastasia said...

there's a woman at our church, a breast cancer survivor, and I know she has a prosthesis because she's mentioned it and I have to admit that I always stare a little bit trying to figure out which one it is...

Bardiac said...

DARN! I'm so glad your hubby felt something. But DARN!

I'm sorry. It sucks.

And I know you have a supportive community there, but I'm only a couple hours away, and if there's something I can do to be helpful, please feel free to drop me an email.

Take good care, okay?

Seeking Solace said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. It's frustrating but you do learn how to cope with a serious health issue. What does help is the love and support of family and friends.

I am up front about my RA. I even tell my students when they see me limping or walking slowly. I don't apologize for my condition. It is what it is.

And yes, the rest of you is just fine.